Your Virtual Tool Kit For College
BY THE TIME YOU HAVE KIDS, they may not even know the joy of freshly sharpened No. 2 pencils, brown paper book covers or the smell of a new box of crayons. That’s largely because technology is advancing at a rate so fast that many school staples—including college textbooks, three-ring binders and handheld calculators—are on the verge of becoming obsolete.
As the saying goes, “If you can’t beat ‘em, join ‘em.” Here are some virtual tools that you can add to your college “must-haves”—right next to bed risers and a rolling hamper.
Beyond the typical calendar reminders, time management apps can help you get a true measurement of how you spend your time online. RescueTime, for example, is a browser add-on that tells you how long you were on a website. Think YouTube is just a minor distraction? Wait until you realize you spent five hours of your weekend hopped up on cat videos! If you really can’t help yourself, use SelfControl. The app lets you block certain websites for a set period of time with no way to stop the timer early!
Juggling your class schedule, homework, projects and paper deadlines can be a mammoth task for even the most OCD of students. Apps like iStudiez can help you keep track of assignments, exams, classes and labs—and sync everything with all of your devices.
SHARING AND STORAGE
Dropbox, Copy, Google Drive … they work in similar ways but each has its own advantages and dis-advantages. Whichever you choose, you’ll be able to share documents with classmates and study partners, and you’ll have all your data in one place to access from just about anywhere.
Move over pencil and paper, inClass takes you one step beyond archiving lectures with audio and video notes. You can even take images of handouts to share via Facebook or iTunes with that cutie who missed Biology 101.
You haven’t heard of Evernote? Stop what you’re doing. Do not pass go. The app lets you take notes or photos, attach and/or save files and record audio. You can clip articles from the Web, capture handwritten notes, find everything with a simple search, and sync your materials on multiple devices. It’s truly indispensible.
The snooze button is not your friend when it comes to early morning classes. That’s where Sleep If U Can comes in. With the photo option, when the alarm goes off, you have to take a picture of what’s shown on the screen to silence the alarm. It could be your toilet, the coffeemaker or your roommate’s Rand Paul poster—anything that forces you to get out of bed.
Who’s missing whom more? Call your mom via Skype and find out. Yes, chatting on the phone is well and good, but she wants to see your happy face. And admit it, you want to see hers too.
If you hate term papers as much as the next student, you’ll love EasyBib. No, it doesn’t do the writing for you, but it does generate citations with the scan of a book bar code or by entering the title.